row2k Features
First Thing in the Morning
April 15, 2000
the Shaker V

4:30 and the alarm cries.
My arm instinctively darts for the snooze.
Not today, not ever do I allow myself.

How water soaks my face,
And my whole body is at perfect peace,
Never wanting to leave.
20 minutes later the water hints at cold,
And I stretch for the towel.
Can't be late.
Not today, not ever.

I turn on my autopilot, on the way to practice.
"How did I get here?" I ask myself as I walk towards the boathouse,
Not fully waking till the cold air hits.

Oars locked in place; we simultaneously push off the dock.
Still dark out, you can see hints of sun on the bow ball.
"All 8 at the finish. Ready all - Row! echoes through the gunwale,
As 8 move as 1 towards the catch

CLICK, BANG
Without hesitation, legs, arms, and body lock on,
As rehearsed for months, to pry the boat through the water.
The wooden oar punches my chest,
And I immediately jerk it from the trusty Hudson.
Every movement synchronized and choreographed.

Images of my friends sleeping in their warm beds
Flood my mind as I creep towards the catch again.

CLICK, BANG
I send the oar through the water and the pictures from my head.
May 8th, the state championships,
Is all I have to think about.




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